‘Dhoni finishes off in style’ became the anthem for the cricket lovers when then Captain, MS Dhoni sent the ball to the dark Mumbai sky and April 2, 2011, got etched forever as one of the most memorable dates in the history of Indian cricket. It was the day when the Indian Cricket team proved itself again after 28 years of long wait and lifted the ICC World Cup a second time.
Dhoni’s performance during the 2011 World Cup is unforgettable, but the player who almost made the same level of effort was Gautam Gambhir. The left-handed batsman, who made 97 off 122 deliveries recently revealed some dressing room secrets of 2011 World Cup final.
Gambhir told that he wasn’t actually prepared to face the Sri Lankan bowlers when Sehwag was caught LBW of the second ball of the inning. Speaking to Kolkata Knight Rider’s (KKR) website, he shared that it was the belief in the dressing room that helped him to settle his nerves. he said,
Sometimes a good start can help you to get settled in the middle. The first ball that Lasith Malinga bowled, I hit it for a boundary. At such times your nerves get settled as well. Whatever nerve was there, it was due to the fact that it was an international game, not because it was a World Cup final.
He further added,
It was not just about one or two individuals, but it was about everyone in the dressing room who believed that we could win the World Cup. There couldn’t have been a bigger stage set when you are chasing in the World Cup final that also at home. You never know whether you will get that opportunity ever again. You got to cherish the moment.
Gambhir also talked about the nervousness he had while going to the field after Sehwag’s early dismissal,
We were chasing 275 and I was not even ready when Viru (Virender Sehwag) got out (leg before wicket) LBW on the second delivery. I was still padding up. Because the decision was a referral, I got the time to get ready.
After Sehwag’s dismissal, Tendulkar also couldn’t contribute much. It was Gambhir who showed a great partnership with Dhoni and helped to end the match like a boss. While recalling the moment, Gambhir said,
The good thing that happened was there was nothing in my mind. If I had to wait for my opportunity, then there would have been a lot of things that would have gone on in my mind since it was a World Cup final and we were chasing 275.